Monday, 26 September 2011

Babbage Analytical Engine designs to be digitised

Babbage Analytical Engine designs to be digitised

The creation of a full-size replica of noted Victorian engineer Charles Babbage's Analytical Engine, as reported in these pages previously, is one step closer to becoming reality now thanks to this latest piece of news.

It may still be early days, and a target date of 2021 seems a long way off, but the London Science Museum is to be commended for agreeing to convert Babbage's handwritten sketches and plans into an easy-to-access digital format.  This will surely be of great use to the team behind the campaign, making their job that little bit easier and ensuring that the project stays alive.

When completed the Analytical Engine will be an enormous machine (we're talking double-decker bus scale here) so it's just as well that Babbage's notes, while not complete, can be easily accessed and analysed before being applied to a computer model and then, finally, a complete and accurate facsimile.

Ten years will be a long time to wait but I'm sure that it will be well worth it, and this blog will continue to report on the progress of this remarkable undertaking.  Carry on, you fellows!

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